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End-of-year charitable giving? Exercise caution
Posted By Clarksville Online News Staff On Thursday, December 31, 2009 @ 3:54 pm In Business | No Comments
Check with Consumer Affairs, Charitable Solicitations and Gaming before donating
NASHVILLE – A word of caution to those planning to end 2009 or start 2010 by giving money to what they think is a good cause: The state Division of Charitable Solicitations and Gaming and the Consumer Affairs Division are reminding Tennesseans to check out charitable organizations before making donations.
“While consumer complaints filed with us do not automatically mean organizations are at fault,” says Consumer Affairs Director Mary Clement, “learning about complaints does sometimes affect whether a consumer goes forward with a donation. It’s really easy to check to see if Consumer Affairs has had complaints against an organization.”
Complaints filed with the Consumer Affairs Division are forwarded to the Division of Charitable Solicitations and Gaming for investigation. The Division of Charitable Solicitations and Gaming, which is part of the Department of State, has authority to levy civil penalties against groups that engage in unfair, false, misleading or deceptive fundraising practices. The division’s investigators also can refer cases to the district attorney general if criminal activity is suspected.
In addition to investigating complaints forwarded by the Division of Consumer Affairs, the Division of Charitable Solicitations and Gaming also accepts complaints directly from the public.
“We take investigations of organizations that misrepresent themselves or mislead consumers very seriously,” said Secretary of State Tre Hargett. “There are many worthy charitable organizations out there that need every donation they can get. But their work is made more difficult because shady operators can discourage some people from making any contributions.”
Charitable organizations in Tennessee are required to register with the Division of Charitable Solicitations and Gaming, which offers some timely tips when weighing the opportunity to donate to organizations:
Consumer Affairs (www.tn.gov/consumer/ ) is part of the Department of Commerce and Insurance, which works to protect consumers while ensuring fair competition for industries and professionals who do business in Tennessee. www.tn.gov/commerce/ 
Article printed from Clarksville, TN Online: https://www.clarksvilleonline.com
URL to article: https://www.clarksvilleonline.com/2009/12/31/end-of-year-charitable-giving-exercise-caution/
URLs in this post:
 http://www.state.tn.us/sos/charity: http://www.state.tn.us/sos/charity
 Image: https://www.clarksvilleonline.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/tngov.jpg
 www.tn.gov/consumer/: http://www.tn.gov/consumer/
 www.tn.gov/commerce/: http://www.tn.gov/commerce/
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